World's Most Bike-Friendly Cities Ranked

Copenhagen takes top spot

Jun 2, 2015
Outside Magazine
World's Most Bike-Friendly Cities Ranked

Copenhagen was ranked as the most bike-friendly city in Copenhagenize's 2015 list.    Grisha Levit/Flickr

Copenhagenize, a multinational urban design consultancy, has released the 2015 edition of the Copenhagenize Index, which ranks the world’s best cities for cyclists. This year, 122 cities around the globe were ranked according to 13 parameters, including safety, infrastructure, social acceptance, and “modal share,” which describes the percentage of the city’s travelers and commuters who get around by bike. Copenhagen, which finished second in the last two Copenhagenize rankings, took first place on the 2015 list.

“The Danish capital remains impressively consistent in its investment in cycling as transport and in making efforts to push it to the next level,” the report’s authors write on the Copenhagenize website. “With regards to a uniform network of urban design for bicycles, Copenhagen is unrivaled in the world.”

The only U.S. city in this year’s top 20—and the first U.S. city to appear since 2013—is Minneapolis. Copenhagenize’s analysts noted the city’s popular bike share system, 117 miles of bike lanes, and “an impressive—for America—modal share.” The difficulties of winter travel in Minneapolis by bicycle (or, indeed, any mode of transport) were not lost on the report’s authors, who suggested improving bike path clearance during months when the city’s streets are covered in snow.

“New cities storm into the top 20 at the expense of others,” Copenhagenize CEO Mikael Colville-Andersen said in a Wired article announcing the release of the 2015 list. While Dublin has gone from 11th to 15th place, Montreal has dropped from 14th to 20th. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and Nagoya, Japan, fell out of the top 20 entirely. The U.S. cities of Portland, San Francisco, and New York City, all of which have appeared in the top 20 in the past, also failed to make this year’s list.